Unity Through Diversity ticket strives to unify WSU, make SGA more equitable

Unity Through Diversity ticket strives to unify WSU, make SGA more equitable

Julian Cornejo was inspired to run for student body president by the words of Aaron Austin, Wichita State’s associate vice president for student affairs.

Cornejo, a junior theatre performance major, attended the LeaderShape Institute, a six-day experience that challenges participants to lead with integrity. There, he met Austin, who spoke during the conference about taking active roles as a leader.

“Attending LeaderShape gave me a new perspective and showed me how one individual can make a difference or have their voice heard,” Cornejo said. “Hearing Dr. Austin’s story and how he became to be at the position he is today proved that.”

Julian chose his fraternity brother, Will Schindler, a junior majoring in health management and minoring in marketing, to join him on the Unity through Diversity ticket — one of four competing in next week’s election.

“I chose Will because I’ve witnessed the analytical side of him,” Cornejo said. “He is someone who would know the logistics of the whole operation.”

Schindler was more than happy to join Cornejo.

“Julian has the vision to make this campus more unified. He came to me with all of these great ideas on how to do that,” Schindler said.

Cornejo and Schindler might not have prior experience within the Student Government Association, but they said they’re confident they have what it takes to be effective leaders.

“There isn’t necessarily any pre-requisites or requirements to run for SGA positions other than being a student,” Schindler said.

Cornejo and Schindler, Delta Upsilon brothers, have been involved in a number of groups and organizations they believe have prepared them for leadership roles.

Cornejo held multiple executive positions in high school acting clubs, including president of Crusaders of the Stage, public relations chair for Act One, and student director for a production of “Steel Magnolias.”

Schindler has filled multiple executive positions in his fraternity — serving as philanthropy chair, vice president of internal affairs, and alumni relations chair. Outside of Delta Upsilon, he served as the New Member Greek Council vice president of administration.

“In my experience while serving in these positions, I have gained the necessary skills to accommodate to the needs of everyone, instead of focusing on certain groups” Schindler said.

Their priorities as leaders include helping to create a more unified campus for all students, making SGA more equitable, and making WSU more transfer friendly.

A Cowley County Community College transfer himself, Cornejo agreed with Schindler that providing an accommodating environment is imperative.

“To be an effective leader, you need to be able to discern and make sure everyone’s needs are being met,” Cornejo said. “You have to lead with equity and not just equality.

“Even if I don’t win the election, I want to make sure the message is clear that SGA is open to anyone who wants to make a difference or have their voice heard.”

Both Cornejo and Schindler supported the Shock the Future referendum.

“We have to view the university as a business,” Cornejo said. “Sometimes you have to spend money to make money. The business school will be built regardless, but what about the other smaller renovation projects in the other colleges?”